The MorphoSys agreement covers the process development and manufacturing of additional clinical material for MOR208, a monoclonal anti-CD19 antibody for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and potentially other B-cell malignancies. It is currently being evaluated in a phase I trial in the U.S. by MorphoSys's partner Xencor.
Simon Sturge, head of the biopharmaceuticals division at Boehringer, said the combination of MorphoSys' track record in the discovery and clinical side of antibody-based therapeutics "and our proven competence in technical development and manufacturing will be an optimal fit."
Boehringer has obtained worldwide rights to Depomed's Acuform gastric retentive drug delivery technology to develop certain fixed-dose combination products which include extended-release metformin and Boehringer compounds for type II diabetes.
Boehringer is paying a $12.5 million license fee, $10 million upfront and an additional $2.5 million payable upon delivery of experimental batches of prototype formulations. Depomed is also eligible to receive additional milestone payments and royalties.